Australian Community Trends Report

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The sector that most directly and deliberately improves and supports Australian communities is the not-for-profit sector. 

Charities are in many ways the heart of Australia. Their value to this nation is demonstrated by the almost $135 billion given in the last year, most of it by the community rather than government.

The esteem of this sector is demonstrated by the size of the charity workforce, which employs one in every ten Australian workers. This is second in size only to retail. In addition to the 1.2 million Australians employed by not-for-profits are the 3.6 million volunteers, all of which makes charities by far Australia’s largest labour force.

While one in five Australian adults has volunteered for a community organisation in the last year, four in five adults have given financially to such organisations, of these one in four give at least monthly.

The landscape for charities is rapidly changing, with generation change, demographic shifts and technological transformation. For the average charity, half of their supporters have joined them since this decade began – and over the same period of time, the nation has grown by almost three million people.


The purpose of this annual Australian Communities Report is to equip leaders in the sector to respond with relevance to the changing external environment and the emerging trends. This 2017 study builds on the results from the 2016 and 2015 research and offers insights to help Australia’s not-for-profit leaders continue to create ripples of change that over time will build the capacity of communities locally, nationally and indeed globally.

Click here to download your free copy. 


About McCrindle 

At McCrindle we are engaged by some of the leading brands and most effective organisations across Australia and internationally to help them understand the ever-changing external environment in which they operate and to assist them in identifying and responding to the key trends.

Our expertise is analysing findings and effectively communicating insights and strategies. Our skills are in designing and deploying world class social and market research. Our purpose is advising organisations to respond strategically to the trends and so remain ever-relevant in changing times. As social researchers we help organisations, brands and communities know the times.

Feel free to Contact us to find out more about our research services.

A shift to volunteering in the NFP sector

Friday, August 18, 2017

Australia is a nation of volunteers. According to the latest Census results, almost one in five (19%) Australians volunteer through an organisation or group, which equates to 3.6 million Australians and is an increase of 2% since the 2011 Census. Our Australian Community Trends Report showed that this increases to 1 in 3 (34%) among Australians who give financially to charitable organisations.

There is an increasing desire of Australians to be involved in charitable organisations in an experiential way. This is particularly true among young people, who desire to go on a journey, have a tangible experience and develop a partnership, not just a transactional relationship of donating money and the charity does the work. The ability of an organisation to engage a donor on multiple levels and take them on a journey can increase loyalty and generosity towards the organisation. When Australians give of their time not just their money, there is an increasing sense of partnership and advocacy with the organisation they are engaging with.

Key motivators for volunteering

When it comes to volunteering, responsibility and satisfaction are the key motivators for volunteers with more than half (51%) indicating that they do so because of the feeling they get when they volunteer, or because they feel it is their responsibility to give back to the community (51%). Almost half (49%) are also motivated by their desire to make the world a better place.

Regular Vs. one-off

Australian charitable givers are volunteering more regularely than just a one-off. 61% of respondents indicated that they regularly give of their time, helping out once a month (24%) or at least a few times a year (37%). Two in five (39%) volunteer on a more sporadic basis with one-off activities such as Clean up Australia Day.

Time-poor students and young workers are more commonly participating in once-off activities while the older generations in retirement are more likely to volunteer very regularly for one or more charities. 35% of the Baby Boomers and 40% of Australians from the Builder generation who are charitable givers volunteer regularly for one or more charities. This compares to just 13% of Gen Y and 21% of Gen X. These young generations are more likely to participate in on-off activities instead of regularly volunteering (47% Gen Y and 41% Gen X).

How charities can engage consistent volunteers

The below mind-map shows some of the key strategies not-for-profits can use to engage consistent volunteers.


The challenge recognised by charitable organisations is the time and administration costs incurred with the management of volunteers. Some charities find it challenging to accommodate volunteers within their operations while others rely heavily on volunteers for the execution of their services or programs. Overall, the sector recognises that if it can navigate the challenges, there the countless opportunities for everyday Australians to both give back and have their own lives enriched through voluntary engagement with the not-for-profit sector.


Results are from a nationally representative survey of 1,510 Australians who give financially to charitable organisations at least once per year (80% of the total Australian population), as well as six focus groups and 14 expert interviews. Research conducted in September 2016.

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


christmas trees prince george Australian Population South Australia Netflix crows nest financial planning vegetarian aussie culture Financial Planning Week divorce rate learning seasons greetings video wedding school DIY McCrindle Speaker entrepreneur millionth cultural diveristy sydney event market research sydney market Australian Communities Trends economic summer unaffordable census fail Love Generation X employers in the media happiness culturally diverse CPI mortgage cooking visualisation the lucky country Australian Trends women conference speaker Work place overcast future of work TED Res Vis stay home national crime rates education future report celebration ACF17 volunteering priorities mobile criminal Engineering Manager Real Estate Institute of Victoria media marrickville holidays quote renter of the future What is food insecurity? friendship 2017 school students wealth distribution 2016 tattoos dessert slideshare Births ethnography GPO challenge Northern Beaches Christian School mother's day Territory greatness Australian schools Kirsten Brewer google bureau hello fresh infographic wall small business domestic Maxim Accounting baby name live the dream REIV National Conference government fresh work mates Education Future Forum thought leadership personal growth casual nfp average sydneysider infographic wealth global do people still change their surname after marriage? REIV Conference meetings home hills shire choice workers conference TAS teach McCrindle Keynote Speakers who is generation z research on coffee chairty identity teaching hornsby poker master australian real estate typical australian sector wide study ipswich socialising Real Estate going out Queensland: QLD keynote Lower Hunter tableau results google for education ACT increasing densification home owner innovation careers 2013 darwin experience high density living non profit work-life faux-cilise 2020 medicine acf15 media activity Christmas in Australia population not-for-profit statistics Valentine’s Day Generation Y Australian Bureau of Statistics public transport perth trends of 2016 TED talk VET sector earning communication sustainable baby names NBRS Architecture trends of 2017 pyrmont housing market online research data click child care The ABC of XYZ not for profit faith Channel Seven social commentary mccrindle research New South Wales demographics Sydney Lifestyle Study financial independence rental stress Australia Day 2017 February 16 mover and shaker schools students global generation mccrindle in the media breakfast Retail McCrindle Speakers Wodonga hobart professional development kate middleton shbc lifestyle motivate career publication trend house millenials intern high school blaxland young people Tuesday Trends dream young australians faux-ciliser focus groups education speakers pack New Zealand dreaming students 1980 global financial crisis 2016 census relevant business future Merry Christmas skills education research Jura Australia "know the times" Northern Beaches shopping centre demographer rising house prices Aussies learning styles the average aussie urban development victoria australia future of shopping australian NFP event aged care puzzle NSW potts point in depth interviews trends survey Hunter Valley mentor presentation thrive eliane miles wages belief goal baby names report capital city logan millennials teleworking professional services long weekend meals ACF media release father's day commuters screenage donate 2014 consumerism Gen Y emerging generations fears SMART Lower Hunter Region faux-cilising Scouts urban living index Business analysis dreams engagement innovative collaboration parents engage population milestone life Western Australia public speaker royal group ashley fell screenagers Black Friday Sales baby Financial Planning Association of Australia couple spirituality baby boomers china volunteering data Caregiver property development food insecurity growth of sydney public speaking low density cloudy days men workplace culture educhat forecasting employmer sunny days grave decision daily commute The Daily Edition community event entertainment Sydney keynote speaker earnings ashley mckenzie EFF younger generations McCridle internship learn speajer VIC rich employment high density brisbane menai Sydney population jobs of the future financial future sector apartments Wellington define Queensland mythbusters facts outsourcing tv NEETs princess charlotte SA plans speakers christmas participants Deaths financial dreams showreel SMSF conference presentation world future of education goals families forecast graphs story cars infographics social researcher mccrindle tea cold mateship interactive social commentator social lives toys optimistic speaker cost Andrew Duffin JOMO ageing Christmas data cost of living workplace future proof Crime Rates budget events consumer post rationalism Australia Day university degree Cobbitty-Leppington office space coffee data visualisation rent sentiments sports growth the changing face of india house price cancelling event the hills shire Christmas lunch finance sun Australian Home changing face of sydney sydneysider social impact megatrends Christmas Stats housing case study ultimo supply and demand year 12 award winner generational trends group session ACT Report Bathburst housing trends Christmas presents Kiwi Skilling Word Up training university Christmas day weather generation offenders research pack Christchurch investment Performance Sentiment Index new york times Social Trend charities ageing population 10 years internet collaborative forum alpha property mythbusting retirement middle class Charlotte wellbeing woolworths WA schools staff Myth family professional presenters anzac proactive water product Melbourne balance easy rider affordable neutral bay networking household maiden sydney hills gig analysis demographic trend tuesday debt Duchess of Cambridge society trends research report urban living Adelaide transport Australia street future proofing English CBD office opening ideas australian community trends report follow 23 million volunteer suburb mccrinlde pharmacies online shopping giving demography gold coast weekly earnings Research Executive study Australian Families award mining boom generation alpha ease of travel states commute Christmas research gen z care support maiden names gender state qualitative research economy paying to work teachers weather TEDx Speaker future-proof wage brands Mount Annan-Currant Hill Aussie households average aussie survey design urban taskforce snapshot teacher demographic trends house price rise System's Architect census 2016 census social panel wealth inequality business performance focus group narcissism unemployment storytelling jobs names baby name trends property market TEDx nativity scene year 7 mccrindle children shopper's pick presentations Do It Yourself generation Z youth house prices city Channel 7 census data Australian demographics Assistant Store Manager authenticity Understanding and Engaging with Generation Z researcher internships equip home ownership local communities USA 1995 list ferry housing growth Gen Z Expert twentyseventeen living environment impact buildings contiki stats global retail capital cities World Water Day daily telegraph Mark McCrindle community school satisfaction change winter blues research services micro research visualisation real demographic transformations program debate Sydney’s south west global generations national wealth DESTEL wolloomooloo australians staying home more local community moderators guide social issues healthy future renting social research social life sydneysiders trends analyst tuesday #censusfail employmee office cica Australian Census residents Jura Coffee society tea Northern beaches Event cancel plans Sydney Hills Business Chamber research omnibus know the times food communities NBRS cash cancelling plans moreton bay local charity property price social enquiry easter Geoff Brailey hills leadership social analyst Research Director Black Friday in Australia sydney metro VET Tasmania Sydney optus car language professional speaker world youth day rule keeper politics spend Hornsby Shire Council work from home sydney property market food bank baby names australia report 1975 Black Friday relational staying in curiosity crime friends parenting 40 million the hills travel rise of local data resilience energy religion Gen X hopes learner Hills Shire Council happy holidays shopping sydney speaker affordability social shifts Northern Territory marriage leadership workshop 1968 HSC bus customer grandparents not for profit research surnames workforce purpose insights huffington post social media organisational culture new office poor IT Specialists emerging trends royal baby sector wide train personalities financial Macquarie University church royal family census results growing population selfie keynote speaker high density apartments earn hunger environmental scanning entrepreneurial brand bondi youth unemployment responsive tertiary education divorce norwest communications australian communities forum tips deloitte population growth eliane 1994 safe social trends commuting 24 million business index rain marriages suburban living australian social research annual income January 26th Financial Planning Association community engagement organisations apartment winter Mark McCrindle in the media average Australian salary repayments education sector the great screenage social analysis educated housing affordability workshop trades Australian Dream wealth and income professional digital economy education future HR communicate conferences data analyst holiday work insight suburbs Christmas day clothing christmas 2017 FPA James Ward gig economy ABS indonesia visual lalor park resource media commentary owning a home cultural diversity New Zeland 2009 wealth and income distribution the australian dream monarchy social researchers futurist geomapping global generaion Tuesday Trend 2016 census results Australians Australian community trends aged care shifts entrepreneurs of today culture litter emerging technologies 2012 coffee lovers FOMO travelling dare to dream leader waverton manly 2015 income SRE Wagga Wagga US micro apartments christian news baby name predictions investor sydneycity generations recap volunteers TDE investing Christmas season financial fears report money surname australian communities trends report optus my business awards Population Clock Willowdale donation gen alpha pharmacy socialites village population map christianity Canberra leadersip sunburnt country NT royal influence townhouses PSI brand experience digital Royals social change Elderslie-Harrington park newspaper public holiday cartodb event etiquette baby boom seasons land of the middle class Australian communities ACF 2016 builders ACF2017 marketing 24,000,000 technology vegemite Vocational education student urban area national private wealth